In approximately 1594, William Shakespeare started to write one of the most well known tragedies in history, Romeo and Juliet. Arguably, simply no author as of yet has matched Shakespeare’s skill and beauty in the creation of this operate. However , creators have regurgitated and will always regurgitate the theme, “star-crossed lovers”, for centuries. Martha Duffy remarks in “West Area Glory”, “Slang may modify and violence escalate, nevertheless the theme of star-crossed city kids has never went out with, nor provides its charm diminished” (p. 1). The only viable strive is the job of modern dramatist Arthur Laurents. However , Laurents’ West Part Story actually written because an attempt to modernize Romeo and Juliet, actually became a work of skill and beauty in the own correct. The emphasis is now removed from simply “modernizing” Romeo and Juliet, the emphasis is a creation of art through a similar motif, yet extremely differing variations and affects. The commonalities abound inside Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story, therefore, there are many deviations found in the plots, personas, and authors’ influences.
While certain facets of the two works remain parallel, many deviations are found within the plot. In West Part Story, the first clear difference, eliminating time periods, is definitely the “exile” condition. In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo is definitely exiled as a result of public knowledge of his deed. West Aspect Story’s Romeo, Tony, turns into a fugitive as the public is definitely searching for a criminal. In “Introduction, Romeo and Juliet and West Side Account: An Appreciation” Norris Houghton writes, “As a result of this altered situation the plan of Western Side History begins at this time to deviate from Shakespeare’s drama” (p. 10). Another deviation in plot is a role in the Friar Laurence character, Doctor, in West Side Tale. Mr. Houghton also comments, “Doc, who will be obviously intended as a counterpart of Friar Laurence, takes no equally active part in the plotting” (p. 10). Houghton likewise agrees, “More significantly, the false statement that the youngster receives of the girl’s death is transported by Anita through the gang as a willful act, less an unfortuitous happenstance, just like befell Romeo because of the erroneous information Balthasar conveyed and the prevention of Friar John’s delivery of the secret of Juliet’s feigned death” (p. 10)
The highest alterations in the plot of West Part Story take place in the final scene. In Romeo and Juliet, the final moment is as predicted from a Shakespearean misfortune, almost all of the main characters perish. However , Houghton explains that Laurents entirely abandons Shakespeare’s ideals in his final picture. “Laurents eschews Shakespeare’s structure of the artificial death of Juliet induced to allow time for a reunion with Romeo” according to Houghton. For this reason abandonment, Laurents must produce his own quasi-tragic ending. Laurents really does create the desired ending, and because of this creation he removes the slaughter and implants to some degree believable ending. At the end, Laurents’ Paris and Juliet (Chino and Maria) are still greatly alive, and Tony would not take his own lifestyle, he is murdered by Chino. Some advise this ending to be a simply alteration to please the Broadway viewers. However , Houghton agrees, “This can scarcely be valid, for a genuinely sentimental ‘soap-opera’ denouncement might somehow possess saved both protagonists via death and reunited these people in life” (p. 11).
The different obvious differences in the two performs are the character types. The male heroes are different certainly due to time frame differences. They will, just as the feminine characters, are also different in age. Houghton implies, “At fourteen young ladies may have been betrothed and get married in the 16th century, in ours that stretches credulity” (p. 9). Also, Laurents’ Juliet persona has a different character than that of Shakespeare’s. Maria is usually not happy to take her own your life for like as described shown by Mr. Houghton, “The modern-day playwright certainly feels that suicide is inconsistent with his heroine’s persona, that her death simply by her individual hand would only diminish her stature” (p. 11). Also inconsistent with Shakespeare’s work may be the use of Muelle Ricans verses Anglos instead of Capulets and Montagues. The usage of parental estimate West Side Story can be noted sporadic as well. The fogeys of Romeo and Juliet play some considerable role inside the Shakespearean function, however , the fogeys of Nancy and Tony are pointed out only in passing. With these figure differences, Western Side Account becomes nearly undeniably a unique work.
While futile quarrels of Western world Side Tale being a modern day Romeo and Juliet arrive and disappear throughout literary history, the main one argument usually overlooked is definitely the influences, both personally and socially, which can be inflicted on the individual authors. People still believe William shakespeare created the concept of the two “star-crossed” lovers. This idea is usually blatantly inappropriate. Arthur Brooke wrote a narrative poem that influenced Shakespeare to develop the Romeo and Juliet all literary works students know today. Brooke’s poem, The Tragical Historye of Romeus and Juliet, amazingly enough, contained the theme of two “star-crossed” enthusiasts. Likely to be approved as Shakespearean influences can also be Tristan and Yseult of medieval lore and Leading man and Leander in vintage legend. Shakespeare is not really a deity and should not always be worshipped as the sole inventor of a idea such as “star-crossed” lovers. Shakespeare simply expounded on another person’s idea, just as Laurent’s has been doing in West Side Story.
With influences of Shakespeare proven and his belittlement below deity status, the argument with the true character of Western Side History may begin. As a post-World Warfare II dramatist, Laurents has its own more taking over influences. Two particular authors with influence on Laurents are mental realists William Inge and Robert Anderson. In A Essential Survey of Drama, Thomas P. Adler states, “Like them(Inge and Anderson), Laurents is mainly a playwright who focuses upon character” (p. 1100). Adler as well suggests, “Laurents reveals a good measure of Thorton Wilder’s impact, both in the commonly optimistic philosophy as well as in the nonrealistic tactics of several of his later on plays and musical books” (p. 1100). It is this optimism that helps to separate the tone and general disposition of the two differing functions.
To fully understand the degree of this original work, it is crucial to view Western Side History as a interpersonal comment rather than modern Romeo and Juliet. The most powerfulk objects in the life of Arthur Laurents are the post-war prejudice, social tension, plus the truncated socio-economic classification of societal organizations. In “The Arafues plus the Rabinets”, Luis Smythe shows the treat of unavailing this operate. Smythe responses, “He waited until team conflicts experienced subsided on New York’s upper west side prior to offering” (p. 1). Mister. Houghton basically emphasizes the effect of this work with the ordinary citizen by composing, “The modern play works with a tragedy through which we all are living” (p. 12). The quantity of Laurents’ work is usually told through Maria while she stands by her fallen lover and yowls, “We all killed him! “
The facts are crystal clear, Arthur Laurents is certainly not some second-rate copycat publisher. An example is made by simply Robert Brustein in “Whose Faust Could it be Anyway? ” Brustein says, “West Side Story is around as faithful to its source as Superman is to Nietzsche’s ebermensch” (p. 1). He’s, in fact , a superb writer who have, just as Shakespeare did, expounded on an over-used, sensitive concept of the “star-crossed” lovers to covey the message laid on his heart for the best of his abilities. West Side Tale is similar and different from Romeo and Juliet, it is not better nor worse. West Aspect Story is an excellent creation of art by a man whom should never be persecuted for his lack of appearance, but needs to be praised for his intellect and ingenuity.
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